C. diff

  1. The dirty truth about bathroom hand dryers

    When you're out and about and have to “go,” you may not want to touch anything in one of those public restrooms.

    After all, how many people have flushed that toilet or turned that doorknob before you?

    You can imagine how those shared surfaces can be CRAWLING with bugs.

    It's a jungle out there!

    So, it’s understandable if you want to try to avoid touching ANYTHING while you’re in there doing your “business” – and thankfully, many public places have installed “automatic” faucets, soap dispensers, and even paper towel dispensers that don’t require you to do anything more than just wave your hand in front of them.

    But there’s one “touchless” amenity in modern restrooms that might not be saving you from picking up any of those germs.

    In fact, according to a new report, hands-free dryers can blow bacteria all over your hands!

    In the study, University of Connecticut researchers put special plates under the airstream of hand dryers found in the school's restrooms to see what critters got blown out.

    And it turned out that just 30 seconds of exposure was long enough for DOZENS of colonies of bacteria to grow on the plates.

    In fact, one test plate even contained 254 colonies of germs!

    One of the bad bugs picked up by the plates was Staphylococcus aureus -- which can cause skin infections, pneumonia, and life-threatening sepsis. Hand dryers can even spread one of the worst bugs out there: Clostridium difficile (a.k.a. C. diff), which causes deadly diarrhea.

    The theory is that flushing a toilet without a cover on its seat (and public toilets rarely have lids) can kick up a lot of bacteria from, well, poop and send it scattering throughout the air. In turn, the hand dryers suck up those bowel bugs and send them right back out ON YOUR WET HANDS.


    Now, the study did find that adding a HEPA filter to the hand dryers reduced bacteria by up to 75 percent, but when you use a public restroom, you’ve got no way of knowing whether the hand dryers are outfitted with a fresh one (or even one at all!).

    Now, if you don't want to pick up a cold or something more serious, washing your hands frequently with plain ol' soap and warm water is your best bet for protecting yourself. Obviously, the solution here isn’t to stop washing your hands.

    But if you don't want to invite bacteria onto your hands after you've just washed them off, it's best to steer clear of hand dryers altogether.

    Since alcohol-based hand sanitizers DON'T kill C. diff and other lethal pathogens, just soap up… rinse off… and then dry off with a paper towel.

    Carry a few extras in your pocket or purse in case none are provided (or just to avoid using something that’s had poop pathogens sprayed all over it from flush after flush!).

  2. These meds create a buffet for bad bugs

    You check in to the hospital... and you expect to check out feeling much healthier than when you arrived.

    Thankfully, most folks do.

    But more and more, we're seeing that those who’ve spent time in hospital beds pick up secondary infections that are WORSE than the illnesses they came in with!

    That's because nasty bacteria often lurk in healthcare facilities -- and one of the worst offenders is a bug called Clostridium difficile (a.k.a. C. diff), which causes deadly diarrhea.

    Now, the overuse of antibiotics is primarily to blame for the C. diff epidemic that’s currently sweeping the nation -- because antibiotics wipe out the "good" bugs in your gut along with the bad, allowing C. diff to swoop in and fill the void.

    But we haven't known exactly HOW C. diff thrives once it takes up residence in your gut... until now.

    A new study shows that antibiotics practically serve an "all-you-can-eat buffet" to these rogue bacteria!

    In the study, North Carolina State University researchers introduced C. diff into the guts of mice that were treated with antibiotics. Then, they analyzed the contents of their guts four different times over the next day.

    It turned out that as the population of C. diff in the mice's guts INCREASED, an amino acid that normal gut bacteria "eat" as a fuel source -- called "proline" -- DECREASED.

    After further analysis, the researchers found that the proline was being gobbled up by none other than C. diff -- because antibiotics had pretty much wiped out all of the other competition!

    Imagine the regular patrons of a restaurant clearing out to make way for a private banquet, and you'll have a pretty good picture of how C. diff got to eat like a king.

    That feast allowed C. diff to multiply rapidly and ultimately dominate the mice's guts, developing into full-blown infections.

    Once C. diff takes over, it's tough to stop these bugs -- because they're resistant to some of our most powerful drugs. That means that you want to do everything you can to avoid this pathogen in the first place.

    C. diff can hide out on everything from medical equipment to bed linens. And alcohol-based hand sanitizers DON'T kill C. diff – so when spending time in a healthcare setting, be sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water.

    Above all, you should only take an antibiotic when absolutely necessary.

    But if you do end up needing one, taking probiotics -- or eating fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut -- can repopulate your gut with beneficial bacteria that fight C. diff by crowding them out.

    Just don’t take your antibiotic and probiotics at exactly the same time, because the antibiotics will neutralize those good bugs as soon as they're in your belly.

  3. Food additive may fuel C. diff infections

    The sweetener that bad bugs love to eat It spreads like wildfire through nursing homes and assisted living facilities... kills as many people a year as prostate cancer... and won't succumb to some of our most powerful drugs. I'm talking about the deadly bacteria Clostridium difficile (a.k.a. C. diff) -- and trust me, you DON'T want to experience its "deadly...
  4. Antibiotics tied to 71% of deadly C. diff infections

    Kids are being left with life-threatening infections after antibiotic prescriptions they never needed.
  5. Diarrhea spores found on doctors' hands

    A quarter of doctors and nurses have nasty disease-causing diarrhea spores on their hands, according to a new study.
  6. The one probiotic to take when you're on an antibiotic

    When you're taking an antibiotic, you need to take a probiotic with it -- but not just any old blend. You need the right stuff for the job.
  7. FDA cracks down on C. diff cure

    The FDA is cracking down on fecal transplants, the one treatment proven to beat infection with the superbug C. diff.
  8. Probiotics slash antibiotic infection risk

    Taking a probiotic supplement with your antibiotic can slash the risk of one of the worst drug side effects: infection with C. diff, the deadly "pooping germ."
  9. Hospital food crawling with germs

    One of the most dangerous germs of all is turning up in the food in hospitals. Next time you're in one, brown bag it!
  10. The killer that came from nowhere

    A few years ago, no one had even heard of Clostridium difficile. Today, this nasty gut bacteria is the Hannibal Lecter of hospitals and nursing homes, wiping out seniors with ruthless efficiency.

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